Plein Air Podcast - Rose Frantzen
Rose Frantzen, featured in the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads, Episode 185

Welcome to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads. In this episode Eric interviews Rose Frantzen, who shares some of the deepest thinking about painting you may have ever heard.

Listen as Rose Frantzen shares the following:
• What it means to fail forward, and how it’s “actually a lovely process”
• Why there’s a resurgence of painting today
• Her suggestions for those who are new to painting (“I think the main thing is time behind the brush, and whatever gets that brush in your hand is where you need to be.”)
• Thoughts on the myth of talent, and much more

Bonus! Eric Rhoads, author of Make More Money Selling Your Art, shares advice on where to begin when it comes to marketing, and how to change your limited perception of what buyers are willing to pay for a piece of art, in this week’s Art Marketing Minute.

Listen to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads and Rose Frantzen here:

Beanfield painting by Rose Frantzen

Related Links:
– Rose Frantzen online:
– Realism Live:
– Eric Rhoads on Instagram:
– Eric Rhoads on Facebook:
– Sunday Coffee:
– Plein Air Salon:
– Value Specs for Artists:
– Paint by Note:
– The Great Outdoor Painting Challenge TV Show:

FULL TRANSCRIPT of this PleinAir Podcast
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the PleinAir Podcast. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Eric Rhoads:
This is episode number 185. Today we’re featuring the legendary Rose Frantzen with some of the deepest thinking on painting you may have ever heard.

This is the Plein Air Podcast with Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of Plein Air Magazine. In the Plein Air podcast we cover the world of outdoor painting called plein air. The French coined the term which means open air or outdoors. The French pronounce it plenn air. Others say plein air. No matter how you say it, there is a huge movement of artists around the world who are going outdoors to paint This show is about that movement. Now, here’s your host, author, publisher and painter, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads 0:18
Well thank you Jim Kipping and welcome to the plein air podcast. I’m Eric Rhoads and I am thrilled to be here with you today a reminder a couple of reminders. Number one is we’re doing a an event called Realism Live. realism live is covering portrait figure landscape, florals still alive and so much more and we have some top instructors who are going to be teaching and the price the early bird price goes up on August 30. So you want to get booked. Now go to to capture that special price. If you can’t make the dates in October, it’s a 20th for the beginners day, and then the 21st through 24th you can still get replays and you have to do it before the event takes place. So go to and check it out. I should also mention the Plein Air salon art competition is going to end at the end of the month and you want to get your entries at Well, I love doing these interviews and this is one of the most interesting interviews I think I’ve ever done. Rose Frantzen is a rock star coming up after the interview. I’m going to be answering your art marketing questions in the marketing minute. But first, let’s get right to our interview with Rose Frantzen. Rose Frantzen Welcome to the plein air podcast.

Rose Frantzen 2:27
Hello Eric

Eric Rhoads 2:29
Well, I am I’m really excited to First off, you know, thank you, you did plein air live. And we had a lot of people who were really into what you were teaching. And thank you for that. That was really wonderful.

Rose Frantzen 2:42
It was kind of interesting for checking me to go through some of my history. And we sort of mind some of the old paintings that I hadn’t looked at for a long time. In fact, some of the small studies that we pulled up had never even seen. So it was actually kind of interesting to see my own sort of evolution and how I how I learned to paint different things out there on location. And I remember when I was first painting and for a long time we were we were growing up I would say I would say and we would be all of us at the palette and chisel Nancy and Scotty music and myself and Dan Gerhartz would be that even though he wasn’t at the chisel. He was part of our group of, of this growing like to each each of us, all of us growing together as a group underneath sort of the informal mentorship of Richard Schmidt at the time, Pentax But for us, it was like everybody would take we learned things via almost by subject, if that makes any sense of like learning to paint a sunset, you know, learning to count To the sun, when you think the trees behind with the hills with a little sunlight coming from behind them, you know, learning to paint a finger learn to paint two fingers. We were like always taking these steps. At least that’s kind of how I thought it like oh man sky learned how to paint two people at once. And you would be like, oh, okay, so now you get to figure out how to speak to people into a big pain and it wants to know how to paint. How do you get that glow around the sun in the sky is actually light and the sun is really strong at that sunset, and how do you get the sun to glow? And knowing knowing that you can’t take those values down so much to still actually read the light of the sky. We set you know, or you know, like the least that’s how you thought at the time and with tricks were like technical tricks or we had to do to make that happen. So it was like we’re always sort of like learning and taking the steps forward and somebody would take a step above the next step up and then everybody else can get on that step and then the next person, somebody else might take the next step up We’re kind of learning and growing together.

Eric Rhoads 5:07
Do you think that was it was that deliberate was that Schmid saying, Okay, today we’re gonna do sunsets or Yeah, it was just everybody was trying to go through.

Rose Frantzen 5:17
Richard didn’t teach us like that at all. No, no, no, Richard was just in the room painting. And then Nancy was brave enough to ask him a couple of questions. And he would just make the answer Nancy questions and then you would listen, even if he wasn’t at your easel. So he was just like, it was much more like having a great painter in an open studio. So if any of these people like for just being around, somebody who knew what they were doing, and when the rest of us had, hadn’t, like a lot of us were I was a young painter. I didn’t hardly start painting. I didn’t really know what’s possible. It was possible with painting and then there were some older painters in the room, who had been painting for 15-20 years, but it kind of plateaued at the palate juggling sort of stayed at the same place. And we’re kind of repeating themselves for a decade or two. And so Richard kind of came into that environment. And he’s like, these are this is what’s possible and everybody’s head kind of blew up because you just didn’t know what was possible. And for us as young painters, we didn’t know it was possible, but it was not a formal teaching with Richard with us. So what we did was, we just sort of, everybody was just painting all the time and sharing what you were painting or showing each other what you’re painting and you would see that somebody discovered something. And for me, a lot of times it had had a subject like a subject matter kind of discovery, like some that as I was just saying, but there would also be things like learning how to paint northlight Brown in North light. You know, I remember Nancy learning Nancy, showing me the color of North lights. Because she did a still life with with just different nuts like she had their shelves on like pecans and walnuts and and just think of all these nuts like all the nuts that you can buy at the store pre pre with the shelf on or whatever and she paid and I saw all the blues and violet that you can see North laid on brown right and I was like after that was the moment I realized what North light look like in in painting in color like in color in like the color of North light. And after that I couldn’t quit seeing it I mean start seeing it that was translate was I was able to translate that to it on a figure on Apple wanna this you name this? You name that? Because I saw what the color of northlight looked like Finally, you know, when you first start painting underneath North light in your studio when we had gone from art school was really hot spotlight And then we move to the Palette and Chisel which had this nice light. And you had none of that really hot hot cadmium colors. And, you know, can you read stuff on the on the flesh tone of any race, any race person, it would always be really heated colors. And then you go to this gray studio and everybody’s skin color and all my skin color looks really like painfully dead green. Right. And I just couldn’t see the colors inside of it at first and then when Nancy, I mean, I’m giving this to Nancy’s, and that was probably an evolution that I wasn’t really aware of that I was actually seeing everyday just a little bit more starting to understand that are struggling with the question of what color is that I’m seeing, you know, but when Nancy did it, it just kind of was like one of those aha moments. So I sort of flagged that as Nancy given that gift to me, but I’m sure that it was the foundation of the question then so prepared by all My failures that I, that when I saw that was her, it made, it made a clear connection. And then all of the process that I had been experiencing, of trying to see it sort of just clicked into place. And then the lens was opened up the like the, my eye, my eye had changed, something had shifted in my skin, and I could see it and it’s never it when you have something that’s really realized, like that, through effort through questions through practice, you earn it and it doesn’t leave you, you know, you’ve you’ve gained that knowledge and now he can put that in your pocket and you can move forward and then you just start to fold it in and say okay, now I see it here and I see it there and I see it there, you know, and then you translate. And I think that’s the beauty of landscape painting especially because it sets you into four different types of lighting today. And it’s a really fabulous way outside to see it learn to see color, and then fail and fail and fail at trying to capture what you’re seeing until something starts to reveal itself in your mixes and in your attempts. And, you know, all of a sudden, one day, oh, you actually see that green in a new way.

Eric Rhoads 10:23
You fail forward.

Rose Frantzen 10:25
You fail forward, and it’s lovely, if you recognize that it’s actually a lovely process. You know, it’s not, it isn’t really failure at all. It’s that it’s just what it looks like, in the moment, but not what it looks like in the process. You know what I’m saying? So, it isn’t really I call it failure because when you come home that day, you feel like you didn’t quite capture what you saw out there. But what you did was you just moved it yourself just a little bit more. forward into the world have seen in the world of translating, and every attempt is so it has, this painting, learning to paint has this. It’s like this really mixed, it can be mixed emotions at times because it has a painful part, especially if you’re really ambitious as we all work and you’re striving, you know, it’s not so painful if you’re just going out and having fun and it doesn’t matter. And I think that’s a really fine attitude. But there’s this quest, that you might put yourself on the track of trying to capture it. And then that has that sort of, when you when you’re really trying to capture it and you’ve put this maybe this, this ideal ahead of yourself, then you experience failure. But what you have to see is that going out there and putting yourself in front of it is exactly how You actually transcend or you meet that ideal or meet that aim or meet that goal, you know, and, and when you get there when you if you celebrate the small, like the small sections of your painting that actually are really working, like I owe the whole thing was a bomb but that like three inches by three inches is just what I thought it was trying to capture. Then you take that you put that in your pocket and you get out there the next day, you know what I’m saying? And that’s the process. And it’s really exhilarating for me from the perspective of person who’s been painting a long time. I look at that period with its with its drama, at least for me, it was traumatic. That trauma of this the the trials and the failings and in the succeeding and stuff is almost like the most pure, like innocent, safest, glorious part of painting possible. You know, like, oh, man Learning to paint is just dynamite. You know, cluding what you want to paint is a whole other struggle, right? And that’s like that’s what that one kind of always been, I think forever kind of what you need to paint or what you’re supposed to paint or what your what you feel you’re you’re compelled to paint. discovering that in a really true way, is actually the real great challenge.

Eric Rhoads 13:29
You’ve raised so many questions and so I’ve got a whole bunch of them that so the one I’m curious about is, you had Scott Burdick was Sue Lyon part of that group at the time?

Rose Frantzen 13:42
So Sue Lyon came in and post for us and then a romance started. So models always fell in love with Scott, but she was going to school. So she was there was like a it was there was there were us that graduated, or we left the American Academy at one period. And then a couple years later, we had another slew of young painters came. And they followed in and then we just there was like this. There was like this period where different different people would leave that school and then come up to the patches on Susan was in that second in that second chain of artists that you might have no real files to…. Oh, oh, just put them in like that. Oh, I just saw him the other day too.

Eric Rhoads 14:31
I understand. So so the question I have is, you have all these great artists today. great artists yourself. Yeah. Gerhartz, Burdick, Lyon, Gyurcsak, etc. Was there some serendipity of the time that these people just happened to be there at that time and they all happen to be driven to learn this or was it the heavy Influence of painting on a regular basis in the studio was Schmid. Was it something else? What was it that you guys all ended up as these iconic legendary artists?

Rose Frantzen 15:13
That’s Chicago, the Chicago School like we try to, but there were there was a group of people right before us that are actually really good too that were in the art school right before us with Jim Roslin. Michelle Mitchell, do you know have you heard of them? Yeah, they want to, they want going to during the time that we’re at the pouches? Well, they were started there when Richard was there, but they split and went off to Richard lacs school up in Minnesota. But there was another woman named Louis Rosario, and there was a guy there who was a really fabulous pastel painter, who kind of influenced the entire school. And I can’t remember his name right now. But but they were a little bit just like they were like a, probably a few years. I was really young when I was at school. A couple years older. But they were one grade or two grades ahead of us.

Eric Rhoads 16:03
Now, are there other people in this grouping that that have not become well known that didn’t go on and continue painting? Or what I’m looking for is, was was there something that can be replicated for others if they wanted to try and figure out how to get to that level of quality?

Rose Frantzen 16:23
Well, there I think it is being replicated that sort of soup that mix. It’s just having a bunch of hard working people working together a bunch of people in the representational vein of painting, there’s this I think there’s a process of learning nicing goes there’s, you’re seeing it all over the place with different schools out coming out of New York and out of out of La out of California, you know, with like Jeremy Luke and had that kind of group, and you had, you have the people coming from, everybody’s names Jacob Collins. You know, there’s like a whole like industry of, of people fostering and growing and learning and moving that, sort of ideal of that type of painting forward into the, you know, into the 21st century. So, I mean, I think that that’s being replicated all over the place, actually. And we’re seeing all kinds of pockets of skulls. I mean, isn’t that Joshua rock from one of those, he’s from one of those groups. And, you know, it’s sort of we’re seeing, that, because representational painting in this, in the last 35-45 years has become, or 50 years or so, has actually kind of taken off again, at least has a passion for the legitimacy of following the passion. I mean, there’s a legitimate, like it’s been legitimized, again, in the culture to actually follow that type of painting. And it’s not being sort of, you know, just disregarded movement. marginalize, you know, I mean, it’s out there. The marginalization And it’s still there. And there’s good reasons for it to be marginalized as far as I’m concerned. But for the most part, it’s been blessed by the passion of teachers. And the passion of the experience of that type of painting, I think is why is why it’s actually had the resurgence, because we experiences training that way of looking at something and learning to translate it is like a way of witnessing the world that we’re in. And it’s such a…. It’s such a valuable and valid form of existing on the planet. And I think that’s why has a resurgence. That’s why it has a necessity, okay, because that study through that sense of the sense the eye, right, that study of the world through that lens, is actually something that really feeds the human spirit. So I think there’s and then the practice of actually translate and have that pass through your body, right? Even though we have the camera and have a little mechanics of it. We have the digital photography, nonsense, Photoshop, all these different ways it’s being translated, the SEC that it passes through just the human beings nervous system in that translation is such an important sort of human experience. I think that’s why that had to be that in what was gained by that practice, that the attention and the quality of being present in the moment because of that, the necessity of that for the human condition. I think that’s why it’s had a resurgence. That’s my take on it. It’s it’s almost a necessary form of the practice of painting.

Eric Rhoads 19:40
…You didn’t have a benefit of a lot of years in the studio. First to disrupt you immediately got that sense of color enlightened form from being outdoors.

Rose Frantzen 20:06
Yeah, hahaha. Yeah, right away, you I don’t know, probably because what I was doing to make my living with selling, trying to sell paintings and art fairs during the summer. So I was doing that before I even met Richard before we went to the palette and chisel. I started just trying to sell my work outside of, you know, on the street. And so I had to come up with concepts or ahead come up with paintings, you know. So part of that would be being outside painting the landscape and painting painting ideas that involve the landscape or involve the volta subject of things like like I did this painting, I thought that we did something recently very similar. But I did this painting in 1987, of, of a great buying where I was doing all these panels of wood Like this linear, really long, linear panel of grapevines. And that was all done out on location. And that was in 1987. This was just at the beginning of working with Richard and I remember Richard refinancing, I did that we showed it at the town chisel. And we, in that fall of 80, Senate, and, and which are like, Whoa, that’s an idea. And I’m like, Yes. Like I don’t you see, wouldn’t it be kind of cool and think to all the way around your room, but I was so naive, I didn’t really know that people had done freezes and things like that. I hadn’t really been exposed to a lot of art, but it was just sort of, I was saw great mine, I thought that would be a really great way to interpret it. You know, so I did that out there, on location. But, uh, so I was always kind of doing it in order to actually start to make a living, Eric, you know, to make my way in the world. So yeah, so I didn’t just work in the studio. You know, I had to had to figure out how to come up with ideas. Right away early on.

Eric Rhoads 22:02
So what what is? What is the path that you recommend? There are a lot of plein air painters, probably mostly plein air painters who are listening to this and people and 30 or 40 countries, you know, hundreds of thousands of people who, who are hearing it and and maybe have not started on their path yet. So they want to know, what do I do? Where do I go? I mean, do I start in the studio? Do I start with photographs? Do I go plein air right out of the bat? And what is the track? I should follow? Should I be doing portraits and working with models? What is it knowing what you know now and what you went through? What would be the path you recommend?

Rose Frantzen 22:46
Well, I think the main thing is time behind the brush, and whatever gets that brush in your hand is where you need to be. You know, but but I mean, and that’s like sort of a blanket answer but let me let me tell into that just a little bit. Yeah, I see you’re talking about like, the one thing I think, personally for me would not be to limit myself in a shot in some sort of genre, like only do portraits or only do landscapes or only do because one actually teaches the other. But it what really what you really, really need in the beginning is whatever puts you in front of the desire to work. And you have to seed you have to feed that because you need to build the habit of being, whatever weight if you if it’s if it’s the landscape, that things in your heart, then you go out and you paint the landscape. You know, you just you’ve just got to go do it. But ultimately, I think that you’ll you’ll discover that there are there was all kinds of practices and I guess for me, a large part of my practice was all from life and And not not working from photographs too early on. But I get that people need to do that, you know, it’s winter, it’s dark, it’s cold. You can’t be out all the time. So yeah, you should work from whatever keeps you working, is what you need to be, is what you need to do, you know, but after that, so I almost wish you could add s s and a question one more time, because there’s so many answers inside of your question on how to approach it. He wants to do it again. I mean, it’s not really a hard question to answer. It’s more like, there’s so many different ways in my mind to answer that question. And I don’t want to blanket like a blanket, sort of saying that you just got to find yourself with a brush in your hand and that’s what you should be doing.

Eric Rhoads 24:46
Well, I think I think you’ve answered it. Really. I mean, I think that that the idea is just attack it.

Rose Frantzen 24:55
Yeah, and here’s what it here’s a thought I had when you were answering asking the question, sorry. started to think about the answer. The one I didn’t respond to. We were really lucky now, in a sense. So, in the time that I was learning to paint you had to kind of there was no, there was no, I don’t remember Anyway, there were a couple of art books that you could buy, to pay not have. Right there were like, I don’t even remember, you know, like, tippy that turtle was in the magazines, that you would draw that and then you would find these things like that. Right? And then they’re in there with the head of it. And then you would try to see if you had any art ability. And so I did that all the time and sort of tried to submit it and see if I was it was okay for me to be an artist. But But back then there were no, there were a couple of books that were paperback about 12 by 14 that somebody like how to paint a portrait and they weren’t very good paintings for representational painters. But now that is all changed. Everything’s turned on its head. There’s great, there’s so much great material on the internet about people always giving tips and all of this, none of that was available at the time, we’re learning that none of it. So it’s a totally different world. So you can get your inspiration from from, from the computer from stuff on the internet from stuff that you buy videos, all of that kind of stuff, right? And but the thing that you eventually have to do is move off of that computer and put the brush in your hand. You know, you got to do both, right, you got to do both, and you got to fail, and you got to fail. You got to fail with that with that. awareness that that’s part of the process. You got to like, try it and just just do it in but when you fail, you just don’t lead yourself in that judgment of it.

Eric Rhoads 26:50
I think what you’re saying there is so critical and it’s worth repeating because, I have I’m sure you too encountered so many people who gave up, because it was a painful experience, it was too hard. And you know, and I think you know, when it gets painful, that’s about the time you’re going to have a breakthrough.

Rose Frantzen 27:14
That’s right. Because Well, we were taught this came from our art school this is now that we is always going to be this group that we’ve mentioned. Right? And I didn’t learn this from because I didn’t have this teacher but those other guys brought this and there was a guy named Oh my god, everybody’s names within like Mr. Parks was Dan, your horses and Nancy’s a figure drawing teacher at the American Academy of Art. Yeah. And Mr. Parks had this quote, or some sort of quote that they all sort of shared about frustration. When you are most frustrated, you’re actually learning. It’s because you’re not able, you’re not able in that moment to have an answer that you’ve already fixed prefix, then you can actually four that’s already a formula that you can solve the problem. So The experience of frustration shows you the question that you’re in front of, you know, so this place that itches, like it’s like, so for me, sometimes we feel like an edge. Sometimes we feel like a blind spot, sometimes it feels like upsetness you know, in my chest or you know, and have all these different reactions going to a part of the pain that was that I was struggling with and that sometimes it would just be like an itch like, ah, I can’t, I can’t can’t scratch it because that’s that it would feel frustrated. It was really because that’s the part that I had questions about that I didn’t know how to solve. And the way to go about it is to pull back somebody emotionally This is this would say I would say would be something that you learn from Richard, pull back from that emotionally and say, okay, is it more red, more yellow, more blue? What, how light? how dark? What am I trying to see? Is it the texture is it the coil, you know, Richard didn’t talk about texture. That’s actually something I’ve written up, but he would talk about the edges is it you know, with What if he would break it down into painting questions at that point of that it is what he would is what he would suggest. And so then you would say, okay, so it isn’t my failure, it isn’t me being shouldn’t be painting or anything. It’s actually a question that I don’t know how to solve yet. Okay, and this is what that feels like, fine. And now this is what it needs to sound like. And that would be okay, what do I need to ask myself in front of this? And that is there there is then why I think it’s also interesting to take workshops, because a teacher will at that moment, see you possibly frustrated in that moment, and then learn to help you learn to ask the questions that you need in those moments. So they can you can kind of demonstrate that. And perhaps maybe that’s why it’s also sometimes to work in a group. Or perhaps that’s when you go and you study your videos with that question. I mean, I remember I remember A part of a pain which sort of stumped me, I would admit would be for all of these assets even before workshops, right? That was that was an asset that wasn’t really out there, either. If it wasn’t out there for in the world, it definitely wasn’t out there for my budget because I was a poor poor kid. Right? But But uh, the the idea that that that this thing is stumping me I was looking at every pain in the museum. holodeck I saw that how did this guy fell like how does that lady Saw that? You know, everywhere I went trying to figure it out. Or I would look at it and see where would you see things that were similar to those It was like a patch of grass right? What does that patch regret grasses nature that makes me not able to understand it and Is it is it because it soft like hair? Is it soft? Like the the edges of a plant you know, in a still life? Is it soft like fuzzy feathers? You know, like you know, or like you know selected try to look For that question in a still life, I would look for that question and a portrait, I would look for that question in the landscape, you know, because it may be the question of edges with the question of translating those edges, you know, or translating that color or. And that’s how you would bring yourself to eventually moving through that frustration. And now that becomes something you put in your pocket. You have, you don’t have to try not to formulaically soundset surf solve that problem. Because every time you need it again, maybe you can bring something new to it. But you’ve learned and so it’s no longer place that will frustrate you. It’s a place that you just kind of anchor off of, in your future in your work, right? Oh, yes. Boom, do this there. That now here’s my next area of frustration. You know, I don’t understand how to paint that area. You know, what am I not seeing or not understanding about what I’m seeing here? And that’s kind of what is that? Am I answering it clearly, am I making sense?

Eric Rhoads 31:59
You know, like, You know, I wish that…

Rose Frantzen 32:03
…a mile a minute,

Eric Rhoads 32:04
No, no, I love the talk we we can get more in the same amount of time. I wish though that every every art teacher, every art instructor, workshop instructor, and every student heard those words because it you know, if someone would explain that idea of the embracing of failure and the embracing of the questions and and help them understand that then it would all make sense and they wouldn’t beat up on themselves and then quit because there’s just too many millions of people who gave up or they don’t believe it. They have this myth that it’s about talent, you want to address the balance the idea of talent.

Rose Frantzen 32:49
Oh, yeah, I have a lot of I always thought that that was actually a question. That was always a question. I think art is all of us in the group and stuff and the artists always talk about like when you’re addicts. invention and stuff you sit around you talk about the idea of talent. And so there’s a lot of theories on it, but an NGO and I go out there and I’m out there painting and people would come up to me and hope this Okay, say this, Eric, but no, I’m asking that I’m probably wondering, people come up and think God has blessed you with so much talent, right? You’re so lucky. And I would be looking at them. And I’d say, Oh, thank you very much, because it was a good I was raised well by my parents. Putting my head I would be thinking, You have no idea how long I’ve been practicing. This is a lot of work. And I I feel like my, if I just take myself as far as this question of talent, I had the talent for returning in within my failure. I had a talent for not for returning once I failed, like I had the talent of perseverance, because I I failed really terribly. For a very long time, I really sucked. I mean, I was pretty bad for a long time. And I select them too. And people started saying, Hey, you know why you, you have less success? You really deserve it. It’s almost as if people say that, to me that are people who know how hard I work in order to get better. But But, but, but the work that it took for me to get to the place that I’m at, wasn’t like, I didn’t have a wonderful life getting there. Yeah, right. It was it was it was like, so rich. It’s such a rich thing.

Eric Rhoads 34:37
Well you’re painting you’re doing you know, you even if you’re suffering, you’re still painting.

Rose Frantzen 34:43
I mean, yeah, talking about it. Yeah, we’re talking about it from that seeming lower using painful words, but in a way, they’re the least painful experience. Right. I always tell my students that that failing on the canvas is the safest place to fail. Right? No limbs are being broken. Nobody’s dying, right? It’s like it’s always a joke, right? If it was like, Hi, what? Yes, Sal here because you’re not gonna, this isn’t your tie. Right? You got all that to worry about in your future, right? You got this whole big death thing to me. So, like, go ahead and do the painting because because it’s that if, it’s like, this is like the safest place to fail.

Eric Rhoads 35:23
Well, we have in our society this, perception, people come up to you and on the streets and you say they say you have all this talent and we have this perception, you know, you that we all know that if you if you’re, you’re a surgeon, you got to go to eight or 10 years of school you got to practice you got to kill a few people before you get it. Right. Exactly. And, and we you know, we know the same thing for lawyers. We know the same thing for any kind of professional you have to learn it. You don’t approach it with natural talent, but why do we have this? This thing about artists as if well, if you can’t just pick up a pencil and magically do something beautiful The first time you ever draw than you don’t that, you know why do people think that talent exists with artists but not other categories?

Podcast Guest 36:09
I want to hear a philosophical reason why I think that is…painting wasn’t one of the Blessed art from Plato in the western Western culture Yeah, so do you want to go there painting wasn’t actually considered an art and we had to prove that it was. And so then there had to be these things that these ideas had to be placed on top of it. You see, it had to do it had to painting had to actually divine it’s passed away from just being in being crass but even craft was actually considered higher in the in the whole Western world word in my word, Western sort of check. Do you know word I’m looking for the western canon? Yeah, yeah. And so I think that that to put these Do you know to put these to put them to mystery around it to do it to put it off and that kind of thing? sort of made it helped give it some sort of way to begin to answer some of it to form its legitimacy is kind of what I think. So let me let’s talk about it in another way. I had an uncle, who was a writer, and he was a literature professor, and he was an old English. He’s an old English professor, too. And he did tell me when I was younger, and I was at the palace as well, probably in Chicago, arguing or we were talking about this idea of talent. And he was a writer and he actually said that some people just should write right now. He was also of that generation that would possibly tell people you know, give it up. You’re not going to be a writer. And I don’t I remember when he said that I don’t take it as like, like, like, I’m not I’m not mad at my uncle for that I thought there was an interesting idea that he was presenting and five my idea that really it’s about perseverance about work, and it’s about returning again and again to the practice of the, of the project that you’re in front of. But he said that there’s just some people that just don’t have it. And I, I, I actually have not been able, let me just say it this way. We do know, we do know that there’s some people that are just so great, like Rembrandt, right or, or just so great, did something and you can kind of like, like, I was watching something about fake fake or I was listening to Faker, you know, like these forgers and stuff. Yeah. And you can just see the difference between a real Rembrandt in a non Rembrandt right, and you can go Wow, did you ever think that was a Rembrandt Because you can start, it has that kind of quality in there. Okay? And that, that is not something that shouldn’t keep you from paying. If you don’t do that in your work, what it should do is you when you see that quality that Rembrandt is putting forward in the world and you know, like we can sort of say there’s real true masters who maybe have have perseverance, practice, genius and talent, right? Let’s say there’s some people out there that are like that, okay. That then you as a viewer in the world of that and then a plotter and an audience for that should open yourself up to learning to see what that is. Okay, again, in the material, that the artifacts that that Rembrandt has left for you. So you need to see the difference between that in this painting and that in that painting, right and what is that quality? You cannot name it, but you have to learn to discover it. And then when you learn to see it, you can be learned to begin to see it when you put it into your work with me with one little, I want to clarify that not when you put it into your work, but when it’s passed through you in your work, right? You become a channel for it in your work. Do you know and that’s a whole other question. But now go ahead. What were you gonna say?

Eric Rhoads 40:31
Well, I what I was gonna say as it reminded me of Van Megan, the great forger who did all the Vermeer forgings and it was interesting to me without it. I read all the books about him and But what was interesting to me is the first time I saw an example of some premier paintings and said which one is the fake. I was immediately drawn to the fake and said I can tell the difference because it didn’t have the heart. It there was something lacking came there. And and I looked at those and said, well, any any expert who if there was an expert who had been an artist who actually had figured out how to make paintings through their own nervous systems, they would have seen the difference. And because every one of those paintings didn’t look like they were painted by by Vermeer, and I think it’s the same thing and so you’ve got, you’ve got that sensitivity and a lot of that sensitivity comes from, you know, decades of dressed applying yourself and you know, getting that mileage and, I guess, or something, some people who have some natural ability, but I don’t think it goes that far.

Rose Frantzen 41:42
It doesn’t go that far. This sensitivity is actually something you can grow, right? You can it can grow because you have every one of us have in my mind, right? This may be philosophical, then we have the ability to tap into the infinite resources of the universe. Okay, so we all have ability to be that sensitive, we all have that ability, right? But you have to find the door to allow that to come through you, you know, so and when we decided that it’s by holding a brush in our hand, right, then then that means you got to hold the brush in your hand. And you got to put the more the more you listen, you can take, let’s just take it, let’s jump off the big high level that we’re talking about. And, you know, I’m going to die probably not being at Rembrandt level. And I’m okay with that still painting everyday Anyway, you know what I mean?

Eric Rhoads 42:33
Most of us would love to be at a Rose Frantzen level.

Rose Frantzen 42:40
We all have our aspirations, right? We all have our aspirations. And that’s great, thank you for that. That’s really wonderful. But so we all have okay, but that doesn’t mean I don’t paint today, right? If I’m not if I’m not gonna if I look at my entire like, I mean, I remember wellness deco directions, always interrupt myself with Another thought that let me just stick to this idea. So let’s just dial it back, pull it a little bit closer to the practice of plein air painting. Okay, let’s pull it right back into the going out there today. Right? You go out there. It’s July in Iowa. It’s July, August. Now we’re having a little bit of a dry spell. So there’s a lot of browns and the greens. But normally at this time of year, we have pretty fruitful, pretty good rainfall and everything. Everything is just green, green, green, green, green. There’s and there’s the greens that no longer the spring greens, which have a great fair variety. There. The Greens have the summer greens where they all have a bit of blue in it a bit of age in it. They don’t have those fresh greens, right. And it’s like, everything can be just green. Plus you have the monoculture of a lot of corn, a lot of beans and everything is pretty high and you can go out there and you’re like, nothing to paint, right. And it’s because it’s green and it doesn’t it’s you can’t find anything and you go out there and you’re like, Ah, yeah, I drive around, I’m looking, I can’t find a scene, you know. And then what I’ve learned is if I go out there, and I just set up, right I set up, it’s not the perfect date. It doesn’t have a lot of not there. It’s not totally like, not, the heart’s not pounding. But I have two or three canvases in my car, right? I go up, I start painting. Okay, and the next thing I know, half hour into the process, I turn to the left, I turn to the right, I look up I look down I go some I turn behind me, right. And there’s the scene I need to be paying. Because my sensitivity level has now jettisoned up an entire bit from the person that was driving around looking for the perfect scene, the one so I’ve already become more sensitive just for that little bit, half hour, an hour, two hours of holding the brush in my hand. All of a sudden world has changed, right? And I’m a more sensitive, being more able to see something that can inspire me more able to resonate with the space that I’m in, in front of. And then there it is, boom. And then I find the painting that I need to paint. You see what I mean? sensitivity is a muscle that we can grow. It’s an it’s a thing. But But I only brought it up about looking at a Rembrandt because I, I think it’s really, really important for us to study what’s possible, okay to try to understand that, that mystery that we were talking about, divorce it from these ideas that I can’t do it. But what I can because learning to see it is the beginning of my ability to actually be able to foster it be able to have it grow inside of myself. Fair enough. Am I making sense? Yeah, absolutely. I’m trying to give you a whole overall Like, the big game, and the smaller game is just in your deck.

Eric Rhoads 46:04
And, I think that one of the great exercises for all painters is to, is to set up in a place where you’re completely uninspired and to and to just say, I’m going to find something in this and you know, I was talking to somebody and they talked about, they take a workshop group out to a back alley somewhere in an industrial area and say find something and find beauty in it and and see if you can do something with it. Because I think, you know, where sometimes our subjects overpower our ability to communicate sensitivity.

Rose Frantzen 46:40
That’s right. And I think that’s when we sit back and we plot the entire 20th century, because that is what the 20th century said. The 20th century said, Hey, everything, everything’s on the table. Let’s look at everything. You know, and it’s it’s our it’s our job or my my eight year old niece. You No, we’re looking at the museum issues. This is like, she’s 13 now. So it was five years ago. We’re at the museum and she’s she goes, Rose, what is the artist bringing to it? You know, what is the artist period? Eight years old, good guts, you know, she was growing up in Chicago in a nice, you know, a nice school where she has artists. Teachers, I put you in front of that question. I didn’t even have that when I was eight. I was like, holy cow player. Where’d you learn that question? Because that is it, isn’t it? What am I bringing to this table? How am I trying to see something here in this alleyway? see something here in this pile of leaves on the ground, see something here and this debt, you know, this dead flowers on life that are in my window? So, you know, what can I see? And how can I translate that and you’re not gonna have it? It’s an it’s an evolution. It doesn’t just show up. It’s I mean, it isn’t just there. It’s something you learn unique. You need it? But you need it again and again and again. All right. I don’t know anybody who could, who doesn’t actually have to put themselves behind the brush. Okay? And even though I can’t let’s say, I know some people who Mauer back today to attend, I know some people and I went to art school who got it a lot faster than the rest of us, right? And it just sort of clicked much quicker. Yeah. And what I now think and I have I have nieces and nephews who are extremely talented individuals, right. And and what I know is that if you have talent, right, you you will work in a certain way to a certain point. But everybody because the arc of of the the arc of the of the aim of the art The aim of the art is so much higher than anybody in and of themselves on the raw talent, okay, but every challenges person will meet their point where They have to put in the work. Every single one. I mean, I have a brother’s an opera singer, right. And he was considered just like a natural talent because the voice sound that came out of his throat out of his mouth out of his, his structure of His head was just pretty glorious. Right away. Okay, if you went, Whoa, my brother, I had another another brothers composer. And my brother would say, My Brother Jerry is just a raw talent. But Jerry, that brother of mine had to meet his work. Okay, in order to take it to the next level. Everybody has to put in their time. Everybody does. And so that now that goes all the way back to my fed sad story for myself, right? I might have to start working a lot harder a lot sooner than some other people, you know, like maybe today would be five years into their, into their learning process of painting before they met the day that they were forced to meet the questions of their work, okay. Because they’re Challenge sort of kept them floating above the most, the Malays for a while and then boom, now in order for them to take the next level, because all of us, all of us, like turtles down here, right are working away, and we’re getting better and we’ve raised the bar for the talented person. Okay, and now the talented person’s talent has, and they actually have to work. Right. And I think that most painful thing for people who do have some more natural ability when they first come out of the womb, and then they think the thing that they most struggle with is they haven’t really learned to deal with the frustration that you and I’ve been talking about. Okay, that original frustration that we started this whole conversation about, they haven’t had to meet that and go through it. Many, many times. They don’t have a lot of practice working through that. And so when they when they finally meet that moment, it’s like they don’t have the History or the muscles to actually push push through it. And that’s where a lot of them just fall off the cliff. Okay, they no longer work, right? It only carried them so far. You hear it all the time in all the fields of art in all the fields, have they everybody meets this. So we’re all going to meet that moment and some people needed at different places. But, but it doesn’t mean that everybody can’t be there on that on that mountain.

Eric Rhoads 51:37
No, they’re super, valuable and and we’re going to come up on the edge of our time limit already, but I and I, and I want to do like 10 more of these because they’re so good. One of one of the things that let’s transition into it another thing, I actually have two other things that I’m critical that critical answers are needed for these Okay, you are you and two or three other artists I know, are the only ones who are never satisfied with what they’re doing. And they always want to push themselves into something new a new level. Maybe not. Maybe that’s wrong to say you’re not satisfied, but you’re not resting on your laurels. There are artists that we all know who have been doing the same thing for, many, many years. And they don’t change it up ever. And yet, every time I look at at what you’re doing, it’s like wow, Rose is trying some really cool things like on this video that you just did for us. You’re like, transitioning 2d to 3d. Talk to me about that the idea of what you did there, but also, how do you train your brain to kind of move into this always experimentation mindset? And then the question beyond that, which maybe you can weave into it is how do we find our voice or deserve voice? Find us?

Rose Frantzen 53:00
Yeah, let’s just start with a last question first I kind of think that it finds us, but it really it’s just about discovering it again. It’s funny to me because, you know, we’ll let’s say this we can just look at ourselves as human beings right? And we don’t we there’s a fair amount of our identity is given to us by the NSA, most of our, the what we call ourselves is what we’ve learned about ourselves from other people or the reactions of other people around us. Right. And I think in a large way, in a big human psycho human way, it’s actually a bit of a problem. And it’s actually one of the things we have to struggle and learn and try to understand. But if we talk about it from the training point of view, it’s interesting when people come up to me and they say they can see a Rose Frantzen. No matter what subject I’m painting, and that’s always a marvel to me, because that means I’m leaving something in there that I don’t know that I have, right? Like, it’s not conscious. It’s not a conscious thing. But I suspect, Eric, that it’s a whole series of, of miles, little habits and interpretations of this thing over the all of these practices of like this color, or this edge or something, or this shape that is sort of habituated inside of me and in solving that problem in that way that I, like, I don’t know that I do it, but I do it. And it’s like, the voice evolves. Alright. Fair enough. And you want to respond to that. I mean, do you see how I’m saying that like, no mix? Is that making sense of is it clear my my phrasing that is it understandable how I’m describing it?

Eric Rhoads 54:58
Absolutely. Absolutely. So it’s reflected somehow to me, because other people tell me that it’s there. You know, but it doesn’t I don’t really see it there. Myself, right. So you’re not trying to as a result, because you don’t see it. You’re not trying to accomplish it, it accomplishes itself. Because it’s, the nervous system response to however, you’re interpreting things. Yeah, yeah, I’m not so sure. I could look at one of your paintings from 10 years ago and one of your paintings from today and say it was painted by the same person.

Rose Frantzen 55:34
And I totally agree with you, because I just that kind of blows me away. Right. But it is interesting that people have said that to me. So there we go. Once again, there’s the reason why that first caveat was put on this because who, who, you know, do I understand that reflection from another person to be the truth? I don’t know. You know, but it is interesting that that’s been said, and that’s been sort of conveyed to me. And that is an interesting idea. So, let’s launch off of that idea. So, right in there, I think this begins to be the answer to the first question, all right. So, I was talking about this habituated turning of that edge, the habituated softening or the habituated color stains are the habituate through the practice, what I mean by habituated is a habit of solving the problem in a similar way, okay, which maybe then becomes in some people’s mind, a rose for instance, Okay, fair enough, right. But in that place, what I’ve done when I find in my practice is to learn to look for those habituated things and then interrupt it. Right, you know, oh, kind of always felt that that way. How can I try and solve it in a way? Right? And I don’t know if that’s, you do follow me. So like I said, me, I know, I know. I know. I know I do this because when I go In my workshops, I tell my students, ah, like, I discovered this, this thing that I’m kind of this this habit, I’m always like, like, even the word always got that habit right here on this, you know, and so I’ve been trying to like break it.

Eric Rhoads 57:18
It’s kind of like driving with your left hand. Or, when you’re in the shower, washing with your opposite hand or whatever, you know, because you realize that you develop these patterns and the patterns are always the same. And, your brain hurts a little bit when you’re trying to figure out how to how to accomplish the same thing with a different hand. I have a buddy that I work with. He’s a mentor of mine and, he says, look, we always come up with the same solutions to every problem. And it’s usually the same, the first five or six solutions, you know, if he says, make a list of every time you ask yourself the questions and then say, Okay, I’m not Stopping until I come up with 100 answers to that. And he said and and then just wipe out the first 20 or the first 10, which are the ones you always come up with all the time and try one of the other ones. And because that’s when things get interesting.

Rose Frantzen 58:15
Yeah, that’s a really strong intellectual exercise that I’ve said, I , probably wouldn’t take that much time to do. But I do think that’s actually one of the ways to look at it. I mean, maybe his numbers are a little large, maybe, like, a painting either he’s talking about. Right, in business. Fair enough. And I think that there’s a but I do think that’s the right concept, but what’s really difficult, Eric, is to discover the habits, right? So how do you learn to see that and that is where that is where this other back again, to your original question about the experimentation, sort of shows you those or For example, one experiment, which I didn’t know was an experiment, like I didn’t know I was in a laboratory. When I did the Portugal coconut project when I was painting in the same conditions 180 people in a year, right? It made it almost the same conditions. I had different people every day and I had some weird day paintings and summer night panes, right, window light, and then just my, my, my fluorescent my daylight fluorescent bulb on the night people. But for the most part, the conditions were pretty much the same for 180 days, with the variable being the person that I was painting. And because of that conditions, because they were set up the same way, I had this whole like, practice. That was an experiment. And that was when I discovered a lot of color. So which way to color decision, you know, that’s when I discovered the going to the easy thing here and go into easy thing there. And it’s really funny that I was doing that underneath this whole umbrella of discovering all these different human beings at the same time. It was because it was this repeated practice. I could sort of see that. And because it was a veil, I opened myself to the question of studying myself working, as well as studying the person that I was painting. And studying myself as a human being on the planet, painting this human being, right. I mean, I was like, really, just to get as a whole, laboratory for the human experience, as well as the artists experience as well as the painters experience. That’s when that kind of revealed some of the things but when you start to taste when you start to taste that, that, that that interest for discovering your habits, right, you, you, you, you, you open yourself up to them starting to show up, right? Oh, wow, there it is. And one of the things that I think is really interesting, and what’s kind of kept me on the edge of my seat with painting is I’ve got learning ideas, things that Richard might have said that I held fast To that I have tried to unshackle from you know, like break those break those laws of understanding, you know, like breaking all the ideas of composition down breaking all the ideas, anything which you didn’t really teach composition but but breaking just like, Where did I learn this idea? Okay, and now I’m, I’ve been doing it for a decade and a half or 25 years or something. And now Can I try to change that? And why would I be doing that is another question and maybe that’s something maybe it’s part of that drive that I have to always kind of evolve. But I think it’s because, because well, I probably got interested in the idea of not repeating myself for decades. When I was in my first or second year of painting when I was at those art fairs in Chicago that was talking about earlier. And I went to those art fairs as this young pop right out of that right out of the kettle, you know, and, and I out there and then with these old dogs, you’ve been painying 15 years, which was not very, probably only 35 or 40, you know, really young people really. But it was with these older painters who are like, I could tell that they’re repeating himself for decades already. And I was just like, I don’t want to grow up and be like them.

Eric Rhoads 1:02:28
Well, and that’s the boredom that sets in I mean, that I think it depends on personality, too, because I certainly have friends who, have painted the same painting 1000 times, and they sell every single one of them and they’re happy, you know, they’re a machine and they’re just cranking them out. But, you wonder how happy they are. Maybe they’re like,

Rose Frantzen 1:02:50
Well, they’re fine. You know, Eric, we can never really know the other person’s place.

Eric Rhoads 1:02:55
You know, and I don’t want to judge anybody either.

Rose Frantzen 1:02:59
But let’s Talk about it. Let’s talk about that another way, right and this is one of the another benefits of the 20th century that they gave us to go deep to go really, really deep inside of one genre or one form one painting one subject right now, to know a person who paints the nearly the same painting for decades, okay, maybe slightly different sub, just like, okay, they’ve been decided about this year for five years, and then I painted that side of the mountain for the next five years. All right, that that person doesn’t keep blowing that up. inside of you can take the same Hayfield, or you can paint the same mountain for decades, right? For decades and decades, and you can go really, really deep, okay. But there is a place where you just could be just needing to be safe and comfortable. And maybe you’re just alone. It’s just a little bit lazy, okay? Because I’m not saying you can’t actually go really deep in sort of one thing. You can. But that means there’s a lot of mining in that field, you can go down and you can turn into, like, go ahead, go ahead.

Eric Rhoads 1:04:17
You look at what Kevin MacPherson did with…

Rose Frantzen 1:04:18
You could be making films with a mountain you can be breaking. I mean, in this 21st century, you could do 5000 things with that same mountain. Okay, you could paint it,, only purple for a year, painted only, you know what I mean? All the yummy. There’s like, thousands of ways inside of that thing, if that’s what you need to do. But it’s okay for us to put this question in front of our listeners. And it’s, it’s really good for us to put this question in front of our listeners to say, Hey, wait a minute, am I stopping too soon? Right. This is all that I want to put out for This work, right? And, there again is where we look to the masters who didn’t, right? They didn’t they left something, you know? I mean, if that guy is that friend of yours painting that same thing and he leaves us a Rembrandt, right and maybe only in the end of his lifetime, there’s 30 paintings or 50 paintings of that mountain, okay. And they had the quality of a Rembrandt, well then good work on him.

Eric Rhoads 1:05:34
Okay. Well, when we don’t know, we don’t know how many bad paintings Rembrandt did, or average painting.

Rose Frantzen 1:05:41
Right. Exactly. Right. It’s an interesting question, but why do I? Why don’t I do it? Because I think life is really, really big and I I take the brush, I take the brush as a doorway to the exploration. Right? doorway, the brush has been my has opened all the doors, like so many doors to my life. So I want the brush in my hand the artists have in me, okay to be in front of the questions of this life of rose friends. So that’s why that’s why I’m always trying the different stuff. Because the questions that Fose Frantzen and meets in her life, asked her to actually try to figure out how to paint it with the brush, you know, and they just show up differently, and they just need to be explored. I just don’t and, I guess I don’t know who I am in, the sense of as a with an answer. That’s a concrete form. Like I don’t have a concrete Answer to who I am. You know, so, so the brush just keeps saying, Okay, let’s try to figure out this question this year Rose, you know, and that’s how it comes. That’s how they change. That’s how my work has changed. You know what I mean? It’s like, Huh. And then there’s so many fabulous things out there done with painting done with art and all the art forms that cheap. Don’t you want to try it? You know, I want to try it. So as his insatiable curiosity, I think it’s Yeah, insatiable. I mean, the reason why, you know, some people just don’t stay in one form. It’s because yeah, we’re not satiated. There’s there’s this but it isn’t. They don’t think it’s like if I analyze I don’t think it’s like a it’s a lot of ambition or greed inside of it. has this really just has this love of the question inside of it. You know, so I find it to be And okay part of my personality. It’s not one I’m really need to, let go of, it keeps me going, you know, it motivates me. So I guess that’s partly why I’m there, why I’m in front of it, but it loves when the, when the questions of this life are put in front of the artist in me, I think that person in me is answered ask the questions with a bigger heart, and a more sensitive self and an a kinder eye. And I guess that’s kind of why I want to put her in front of those things. You know, fair enough? Are you still recording?

Eric Rhoads 1:08:49
I’m floating on a cloud. I mean, you’re just giving us so much good stuff. And I just, I’m amazed every time we talk, I’m amazed. You’re like a modern philosopher. it’s fabulous. And I wish we had I wish we had another hour or two and we’ll find another hour or two in the future but thank you so much for doing this today.

Rose Frantzen 1:09:12
I hope it didn’t go on too long. Oh, you know I’ve heard myself talk. I talk really fast it points you know, but it’s this sort of comes out like geez gonna put me on like slow down the tape or something and recording and let’s…her it a little slow motion. All right. Well, thanks, Eric. Everything I know today sounds like the last time I talked to you with everything the same? I don’t have any idea.

Eric Rhoads 1:09:43
Nothing is ever the same when I talk to you two times in a row.

Rose Frantzen 1:09:49
Very good. All right. Well be well and happy painting to everybody.

Eric Rhoads 1:09:56
Well, thanks again to Rose Frantzen. Are you guys ready for some marketing ideas?

Announcer 1:10:01
This is the marketing minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the number one Amazon bestseller Make More Money Selling Your Art: Proven Techniques to Turn Your Passion Into Profit.

Eric Rhoads 1:10:13
In the marketing minute I answer your marketing questions you can email me anytime, [email protected] Here’s a question from Jacob in Cincinnati who says Where do I begin when it comes to marketing, social media, advertising, having a website? Well, Jacob, I get this question a lot. It’s a very normal question. And it’s an important question because nobody knows where to begin. It’s like what do I do? I’ve got to start selling my work. I think the most important thing is to ask yourself what you want to accomplish, set some goals and try to figure out how you’re going to accomplish those goals. Now you don’t have to set giant goals yet. Just set some goals. You know, what’s the number one thing you want to accomplish? You want to sell paintings. You want to build a brand you want to do Something else get names for your website so that you can email people your newsletter, try to figure out what it is you’re looking for. Once you set those goals, then you’ll have an idea what you’re going for. Because you cannot do any marketing, until you really understand what you’re marketing to accomplish. But if you have a framework, let’s say you know that your number one goal is branding, you’ve got to build your name, while you’re going to think differently about branding than you are about how to capture names for your website, so you can send them emails, or how to how to sell specific paintings. It’s all different. So the very beginning part of everything is set some goals figure out your strategy, what is it I want to accomplish? How am I going to accomplish it is more after the strategy because that’s tactic. But strategy first is what do I want to accomplish? Now it’s easy to say, Well, I want to accomplish everything and I get that But the reality is you can’t accomplish everything all at once. You’ve got to start somewhere. And I think that what you’ve got to do is figure out what’s the most important thing for you to accomplish. It’s I can’t answer that for you because it’s different for everybody, but start there. Good question. Thank you.

Eric Rhoads 1:12:18
The next question comes from Beatrice in Sedalia, Sedalia, I believe Missouri. Beatrice says I feel like I have a limited perception about what buyers are willing to pay. Can you speak to this in regards to pricing? Well, the best way to understand this, Beatrice is to understand that there are people who have more money than I have or more money than you have. And we tend to base our pricing based on what we would be willing to pay or what we could afford. But what if somebody has 100 times more money, or 1000 times more money or 10,000 times more money. Suddenly, those Things change. And so what you want to do is ask yourself, first off, what do I need for this painting? What What is my dream price for this? You may not get there in the beginning, but you want to start and ask yourself, where do I want to be and then you want to craft a plan on how to get there. Now, galleries will tell you that they don’t want you to start out too high because they want to build a collector base. Get those people to keep investing in you more and more over time. If you’re selling direct online, it depends on the environment you’re selling in. If you’re selling in a high end online gallery, for instance, that sells big expensive paintings and you’re really really low priced, it actually might hurt you instead of helping you versus if you’re the most expensive thing and a low end, you know, kind of a crummy online gallery or environment then it might hurt you. So again, it comes down to understanding your strategy. I realized a long time ago that only A lot of people had a lot more money than me and I would limit my thinking by that I would say, Okay, well, I’m only making $40,000 a year, how can I possibly sell something that’s gonna somebody’s gonna pay $50,000 for that’s more than I make in a year. And yet there are people out there who would look at a painting and say, Well, what do you mean? It’s it’s $2,000 It can’t be any good if it’s $2,000 it but if it were $20,000 I might consider it and it’s hard to believe that people think that way because you know, everybody, including wealthy people want a bargain. But why does somebody who’s wealthy buy a Mercedes instead of buying a Kia? Well, Kia is a great car. It’s a good looking car, but it doesn’t have the brand that Mercedes has right and why is it somebody will buy a Rolls Royce instead of a Mercedes? Well, the people who buy Rolls Royce probably look at Mercedes as a low end brand or a lower end brand. Why is it some people will buy a Ferrari for a million dollars instead of a Rolls Royce for 250 or $300,000. And again, it kind of goes back to their stature in life. So a lot of that depends on who you’re talking to where you’re talking to them what your environment is, all those things matter. So you need to understand that. So start by asking yourself, where am I selling it? If I’m selling it on my own website, that’s a little bit of a problem because you have to establish some relevance to the buyers and you don’t even know who’s visiting the probably so you want to try and figure out who’s visiting where you want to be. I look for ways to put myself in front of fluent people. You know, my magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur has over 300 billionaires that read it, and lots of upper one percenters very affluent people. And so I know that if I put something expensive in front of those people, they’re not going to blink twice. I mean, yeah. Maybe if it’s too expensive, but what’s too expensive, you have to a billionaire. Now, not every person is going to buy that painting. They have to look at it and say, This lives up to my perception of quality. But you may be telling yourself stories about I’m not good enough yet, and maybe you’re not, but you might be good enough. And if you are good enough, somebody looks at that and says, Well, this person’s got, you know, a $5,000 painting, that’s no problem for me. And you might be thinking I’d never pay $5000 for a painting, I could only pay $200 for a painting. Well, I get that. And that’s part of where we all have to kind of get our mindset in the place. I have a saying that I say in my book, Make More Money Selling Your Art and that is always stand in the river where the money is flowing. We tend to hang out with people that we hang out with. If we don’t have a lot of money, we tend to hang out with people who don’t have a lot of money. People who have a lot of money tend to hang out with people who have a lot more money. And so you want to make sure that you’re standing in the river where the money is flowing. Anyway, I hope this helps.

Announcer 1:17:02
This has been a marketing minute with Eric Rhoads. You can learn more at

Eric Rhoads 1:17:09
Hey, if you’ve not seen my blog where I talk about art life and other things, it’s called Sunday coffee you can find it at a reminder that you want to check out realism live, it’s going to be a phenomenon and online conference, you can stay home be safe, and you can get the effect of a major conference without the major commitment. So for instance, you might attend by the time you pay for airfare hotel rental car, you might spend $3,000 to go to a conference to see you know, 20 top people, but I can give you that same 20 top people experience for about $300 or actually less depending on if you get in before the early bird price expires on August 30. So check it out at realism also a reminder that you want to get into plein air salon, and Get your entries in soon. That’s plein air Well, this is always fun. We’ll do it again sometime like next week. I’ll see you then. My name is Eric Rhoads. And I’m the publisher and founder of plein air magazine. Remember, it’s a big beautiful world out there and this time of year especially. Let’s go paint it. We’ll see you around. Thank you. Bye bye.

This has been the plein air podcast with Plein Air Magazine’s Eric Rhoads. You can help spread the word about plein air painting by sharing this podcast with your friends. And you can leave a review or subscribe on iTunes. So it comes to you every week. And you can even reach Eric by email [email protected] Be sure to pick up our free ebook 240 plein air painting tips by some of America’s top painters. It’s free at Tune in next week for more great interviews. Thanks for listening.


  1. Hi Eric, I just wanted to say how much i enjoy your Podcasts, they are so informative and so inspiring, I have been interested in painting for the last 30 years and this reawakens that youthful lust for learning inside me, thumbs up, keep safe and keep doing it please and thank you Andrew

  2. The French didn’t come up with the term “en plein air”. It isn’t even French. It is a phony made up term much like “Exxon” or “Hagendaze”. “Plein” in French means “full”. Also in French, “air” means “tune”. “Outdoors” in French is “dehors”, “outside” is “exterieur”, and “open air” is “le grand air” or “au grand air” in French. The French do not say “en plein air” only English-speaking art snobs do that, just like they try and claim that “giclee” is a special art print. It isn’t, it is another phony, made-up word that has no real meaning.


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